Saturday, April 17, 2010

John Mullan selects ten breakfasts in literature for The Guardian:
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë On Jane's first morning at Lowood School, the pupils are served basins of something hot, which "sent forth an odour far from inviting". "I devoured a spoonful or two of my portion without thinking of its taste . . . burnt porridge is almost as bad as rotten potatoes; famine itself soon sickens over it".
The Wilmington Star reviews Jane Slayre:
For a moment, I thought Erwin had actually hit on something original — say, turning Jane into a serial killer, sort of on the model of Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter. But no, here’s more recycled Buffy for the teen vampire market. (...)
Erwin’s editors take pride in the fact that she did a complete rewrite, rather than simply inserting the zombie-attack scenes into the original text, as Seth Grahame-Smith did in “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” Well, Erwin has a fair reputation in the horror and romance fields — if you don’t believe me, see — but I have to tell you, ma’am: I know Charlotte Bronte, and you’re no Charlotte Bronte. (Ben Steelman)
The Huffington Post traces (again) the links between Jane Eyre/Wuthering Heights and Stephenie Meyer:
Edward Cullen and Rochester, or: Why We Need to Cut Stephenie Meyer Some Slack Already.
An 8th grade student of mine is reading Jane Eyre for her tutoring sessions with me. I hadn't read the book for four years, and as I read the part of Rochester with my student (she opted, of course, to read Jane's lines) I realized I had forgotten how hilarious Rochester can be in his exchanges with Jane: "The forehead declares, 'Reason sits firm and holds the reins...Well said, forehead; your declaration shall be respected."
I have also in the four years since reading Jane Eyre read the Twilight Series. (Read more) (Ming Holden)
The Charlotte Dance Examiner insists on the same comparisons:
In a remote Haworth parsonage in the 1820s, the Brontë children entertained themselves by creating their "infernal world" of Angria and Gondal, not unlike Meyer's Forks, where epic adventures, Byronic characters, and supernatural mysteries abounded. These qualities eventually migrated into their adult fiction. The books captivated readers--Jane Eyre became a best-seller--although critics at the time found the books distasteful, sensual, even irreligious. (...)
The [Twilight] books are admittedly more PG-13 than children's fare, and parents should be cautious. The books have some profanity and grisly content, especially Breaking Dawn. But then, Wuthering Heights did, too. And, true, there's a lot of kissing and bed-romping, although chaste. But remember this passage from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre?
His fury wrought to the highest: he must yield to it for a moment, whatever followed; he crossed the floor and seized my arm and grasped my waist. He seemed to devour me with his flaming glance: physically, I felt, at the moment, powerless as stubble exposed to the draught and glow of a furnace . . . .
It's the romance, not the supernatural elements and suspense, that captivates us. Perhaps it's part of the reason Jane Eyre survives as a classic to this day. Who but Meyer would have imagined that a good vampire could be so romantic? (Cindy Beers)
And Art Film Guide has a (terrifying) proposal:
I believe that Pattinson would be perfect for the role of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights.
The anti-Pattinson, anti-Twilight crowd can laugh as much as they want. But nobody broods better than Robert Pattinson, and Emily Brontë’s Heathcliff is the broodingest of all brooding literature heroes. (...)
But with the right handling, I believe that Pattinson would be a brilliant Heathcliff. The intensity, the unpredictability, the danger are all there. True, his hair and features would have to be darkened some — but that’s what makeup artists are for. If they can make his face paler so he’ll look like Edward Cullen, they can also make it darker so he’ll look like Heathcliff. (Joan Lister)
Two reviews of Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World by Claire Harman mention the Brontës today:
Austen's novels sold modestly during her life and by the 1820s had mostly fallen out of print. Romantics like Charlotte Brontë thought her prim and cold, and the Victorians, accustomed to multi-volume doorstoppers, generally found her too narrow. (Alison Gilmor in The Winnipeg Free Press)
Oh, Harman introduces some detractors, too; among them is Charlotte Brontë -- and no wonder, so different are her and her sisters' passion-swept sagas from Austen's low-key comedies. But another towering figure of romanticism, Sir Walter Scott, admired Austen for the very restraint of which Brontë disapproved. (Dennis Drabelle in Washington Post)
The Times recommends a visit to Buxton:
Buxton lies at the centre of a web of literary connections. Daniel Defoe visited the town and Vera Brittain lived here; to the northeast is Hathersage, home of the Eyre family, who inspired Charlotte Bronte’s best-known novel; you can still see the brasses dedicated to them in the parish church. (Paul Dunn)
On the Tulane Hullaballoe an English major voices an understandable complain:
I can’t say I ever would have read Chaucer’s dream vision poetry on my own, but I might have liked “Jane Eyre” better if I hadn’t had to read it for three different classes in the past four years and write a 10-page paper about it. (Sara Tobin)
Terra News (Italy) reviews Sette piccoli sospetti by Christian Frascella:
Lei Letizia, la Chiattona, così appellata perché grassa e scarmigliata, è cameriera nel bar paterno ed è molto strana perchè legge Cime Tempestose. (Orietta Possanza) (Google translation)
Lorrie Moore's A Gate to the Stairs is reviewed in Le Monde (France):
C'est une spécialité de l'Angleterre victorienne : les Britanniques l'appellent governess novel, ou "roman de gouvernante". Le genre a culminé en 1847 avec Agnes Grey, d'Anne Brontë, et surtout Jane Eyre, de sa soeur Charlotte. (...)
On comprend que cette riche matière ait pu tenter Lorrie Moore. "Ma dernière phrase est d'ailleurs un clin d'oeil évident à Jane Eyre", reconnaît la romancière américaine de passage à Paris. (Florence Noiville) (Google translation)
Ouest-France describes singer and harpist Cécile Corbel as follows:
Cécile Corbel tourne un peu partout dans le monde, sorte d'Alice gothique vêtue par Emily Brontë, qui aurait emprunté la voix de Kate Bush. (Ronan Gorgiard) (Google translation)
Vårt Land (Norway) reviews Lone Scherfig's An Education:
Jenny er den «smarte» eleven i klassen og ekspert på engelsk litteratur. Ikkje minst Jane Eyre av Charlotte Brönte. Og snart dukkar David (Peter Sarsgaard) opp som ein slags Mr. Rochester. Men etter kvart skal det vise seg at det er fleire parallellar mellom David og hovudpersonen i Bröntes roman enn Jenny kunne ha den fjernaste idé om. (Alf Kjetil Walgermo) (Microsoft translation)
The Russian ВашДосуг presents a concert of Soap & Skin:
Видимо, читанные в детстве книги сестер Бронте с их роковыми страстями накрепко засели в подсознании девушки. (Александр Кутинов) (Google translation)
A student that recommends Wuthering Heights in the Sauk Valley Daily Gazette, No More Grumpy Bookseller comments on the US publishing of Jude Morgan's The Taste of Sorrow (we resist to use the poor US title Charlotte & Emily. A Novel of the Brontë Sisters) and Juliet Gael's Romancing Miss Brontë; Le Terrier de Chiffonniere posts about Agnes Grey (in French); paulshandy reviews Sally Shuttleworth's Charlotte Brontë and Victorian Psychology and Suzy Homemaker posts about Wuthering Heights. Poetryanimations has uploaded to Youtube two, somehow creepy, animations of two poems by Emily Brontë: The Visionary, The Prisoner and In the earth--the earth--thou shalt be laid.

Finally, we read in an obituary of Colm Kiernan this (really) weird statement in the Irish Times:
He would translate many difficult texts including those written by the Brontë sisters, particularly Charlotte who wrote in a mixture of Gaelic and old English.
The blunder is reproduced also on the wikipedia and in the Sidney Morning Herald... we wonder where the hell this originated? It cannot possibly come just from this poem by Branwell Brontë....

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